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Does malaria during pregnancy harm the fetus?

Q: My 25 years old wife is into her 27th week of pregnancy. She had malaria in her 25th week of pregnancy. When she took the medicine, she had fever for a whole day after every six hours. The next day there was no fever and the blood test showed - 0.1 index of parasite. Though the malaria parasite will be slowly killed by the medicines taken, the doctor advised malaria antibiotic. Now she is doing fine and visited the doctor to check if the baby is doing fine as my wife had high temperatures during fever. They did the regular check up like fetal heart rate and movements and said fetal behaviour is normal. My questions are:

  1. Is there any other test to confirm the well being of the fetus?
  2. My wife has not received tetanus injections till now; if it was administered earlier, would it have prevented malaria? Should we go for tetanus injection now?
  3. Can she consume flax seed, flax seed oil during pregnancy? I have heard these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Please tell me the other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are safe during pregnancy.

A:You can assess fetal well being by doing a detailed ultrasound. I am sure your wife would have received anti-malarials and antibiotics, which are safe in pregnancy. There is no way that a tetanus vaccine will protect against malaria. She needs to be administered two doses of tetanus toxoid 4-6 weeks apart which she can take now. It is safe and recommended. Sources of omega 3 fatty acids other than fish are soya, green vegetables, canola and safflower oil.


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